It took a few innings for the Georgetown Prep batters to warm up in the IAC championship game on Saturday, but once they finally did, they pulled ahead when it mattered most.
The Little Hoyas knocked back all four of their runs in the bottom of the fifth inning in their title bout with St. Albans. That was enough to close the game out, as they topped the Bulldogs 4-1 to go undefeated in IAC play and take home the championship.
Georgetown Prep head coach Chris Rodriguez was proud of what his team had accomplished following the game, especially for his strong group of graduating seniors.
“These guys have worked really hard. It’s very special for me, especially being so connected to these seniors in my fourth year here,” Rodriguez said. “They just bought into the system. I have to give them 100 percent of the credit for their leadership all year. It took shape a little bit last year, and I think they really wanted to prove something to themselves and to the area that they take this game seriously and they work very hard at it.”
The game started out as a dual between opposing pitchers; Danny Swad for St. Albans and Cody Mauri for Georgetown Prep. The Bulldogs of St. Albans broke the deadlock first when Gabe Roark blasted a double to the fence, bringing home Nico Boyajian from second base.
As they have done all season, however, the Little Hoyas responded immediately, loading up the bases in the bottom of the fifth. Swad walked home the game-tying run with two outs, and then designated hitter Corey Howard cleared the bases with a double of his own, giving Prep a 4-1 lead.
Georgetown Prep relief pitcher Blake Coolidge had entered the game with his team down a run, but he then returned to the mound in the next inning with a three-run lead. Coolidge did not allow the Bulldogs any chance at closing the game back up, and then, with the final pitch of the IAC season, he struck out Roark as his teammates stormed the mound.
The number one seed topped the number three seed to close the season at 12-0 in IAC play. Starting pitcher Cody Mauri is just a sophomore, but he stepped up on the big stage when his team needed him most and held St. Albans to just one earned run.
“That’s a good team, St. Albans, but we pulled through today,” Mauri said. “All that work in the offseason really paid off. I was really just trying to find the zone at first, get my off-speed over. My changeup was really working today. I left one over the plate and they got a good hit out of it, but I felt like I pitched well and it was a great all-around effort.”
Mauri described his side’s loss in the championship game last season to Landon as “heartbreaking.” That year, Prep had also gone undefeated in regular season play, but they ended up only as co-champions as they fell in the championship game. This year, they were not about to make the same mistake.
With a sophomore as the starting pitcher and a junior coming in to close it out, the future looks bright for the Georgetown Prep baseball program. But they will still lose an influential senior class.
“We’re going to have to work hard, and maybe we’ll have to have a little bit different approach,” Coach Rodriguez said on next season’s prospects. “But we have solid pitching, we have some really good arms. So I think on the mound we’re going to be good. They’re going to have to work hard, but if they keep doing what they’ve been doing I think they’ll always compete.”
|Georgetown Prep Baseball||21-9||189||110||10-0||85||12|
|St. Albans Baseball||13-17||164||176||6-4||56||29|
|St. Stephen's & St. Agnes Baseball||5-17||71||162||3-7||38||58|